sausage tree safari camp
after celebrating thanksgiving with my parents in johannesburg,
we headed into the bush to go on safari!! it’s the south african
experience you cannot miss, & the reason most people come here.
i went on a few the first time i visited my parents, but this would
be chase’s very first safari experience! we found the coolest
family-run camp in balule game reserve and loved every detail
of our experience… amazing people, fabulous setting with
cool safari tents to stay in, drives spotting lots of animals,
and even camp dogs who we all became attached to :)
there are so many different lodges and options for
safari, but this is my kind of place. it’s reasonable
while still offering an incredible experience. it’s also
such a cool setting and makes you feel like you’re
truly staying “in the bush” with the awesome tents.
sausage tree safari camp is about 5 hours from johannesburg
and situated back through dirt roads, making it feel super remote.
it’s named after the south african sausage tree which produces
heavy sausage fruit & surrounds the camp. love this safari crew! ^^
we spotted this gorgeous bird on the way into camp and
already felt like we were in a good wildlife area. this is
called the lilac breasted roller and is my favorite african bird!
we arrived to camp with a friendly greeting,
and walked in the main tent to this pretty view ^^
greeted with some juice after our long drive! ^^
cheers to the beginning of a safari stay!
after taking in the main area we were shown
along the pathways to our tents.
the rooms are the perfect mix of rustic + luxury.
they are so clean and updated, but you also get to
zip up a mosquito net and feel like you’re in the bush!
my mom and i both agreed that these tents were our
favorite safari accommodations from what we’ve been to.
we had some time to enjoy lunch and the
views before the afternoon game drive began.
and off we go, with rain clouds in the distance!
one of our first spottings: the cutest & cuddliest lion family..
are you kidding? can i join them?
my mom was decked out in her complete safari gear .. haha!
after living here for a year and a half now, she is a true expert.
mom + husband ^^ love how close they are
^^ back to the lions who started sharpening
their claws on a tree. i could watch them forever!
papa lion joined the party ^^
we continued our drive and stopped off at an
overlook to watch the sunset, complete with some snacks.
it was starting to get chilly with the rain blowing in,
so this cozy stop with hot chocolate was very welcomed.
the other safaris i’ve done have been in really hot weather,
which made this cooler stormy weather so refreshing this time.
so refreshing in fact, that an actual DOWNPOUR started on our
drive home. it was one of the funniest/craziest experiences to
put on ponchos and get stuck in an african rainstorm drive!
someone in our group took this hilarious photo and sent it to us,
and i have to include it since chase, my mom and i look so ridiculous
in the back getting drenched. my dad was in the front by our guide!
we came back for cozy dinner during the rainstorm.
it was inside because of the weather so we couldn’t
do the boma and campfire, but it was really nice!
^^ a delicious home-cooked meal that hit the spot!
we hurried off to bed to rest up before our…
morning game drive!
these start around 5 AM but they are some of
the best times to be out early with the animals.
we found the lions again right away…sleepy like we were!
this one woke up … looking a little scary with that glare!
chase tried out our guide’s camera and looked pretty legit!
^^ back to snoozin’
the cutest parents on our morning ride!
we spotted the coolest feather on the ground ^^
the birds of africa, i swear! so gorgeous.
i loved the game drives here because they arranged
nice stops along the way with snacks & drinks & treats!
hello, giraffe with your crazy black tongue!
laughing so hard again at my mom’s gilligan hat!
mom in the spotter seat, haha ^^
also – are my dad + chase repping the SF giants enough?
we came back across this giraffe who was
getting ready to take a drink. watch this!
i had never seen this. they have to scoot their legs
into a wide stance so they can reach down far enough!
the cutest thing ever! ^^
we came back to our favorite animals of them all…
the camp dogs that the owners have living there.
we laughed so hard at how much they stole all
of our hearts. after seeing all of the amazing
exotic animals we would race back to hold
charlie and pet mildred! (haha, best names too)
charlie was unreal. he was so relaxed he would let
you hold him and do anything! here he is stiff as
a board just leaning on chase. hahah!
we called this one the “simba”
here’s darling mildred, a black lab/hound mix.
those floppy ears were so cute as she chased lizards!
we had a lovely breakfast — (and my mom’s safari hat reappeared ;)
finally it came time to say goodbye to charlie …….
haha we were so sad! lots of hugs for him and for
the rest of the crew here. you make fast friends at this lodge!
this camp is one of the best experiences you can get
at one of the most reasonable rates. it’s personal, special,
memorable, and we loved every second of our short stay!
off we went through blythe river canyon after,
with more adventure to come. i’m working on a
complete south africa guide & video to post soon!